The Taller Silvestre project was born in the woods. All our work is inspired by Nature. We spend a long time in the countryside, foraging plants, flowers, branches, barks for our both activities, botanical compositions and natural dyes. We carry out this task with maximum care and respecting sustainable foraging.
Too often we find waste in the forest. It is never in big quantities, but one item is just too much if we think about how long most common trash needs to break down. The time scale is scary: a Tetra Brik – 30 years; synthetic clothes – 40 years; plastic bags – 150 years; batteries – 1000 years; plastic packaging – 300 years; cans – 200 years; plastic bottles – 450 years.
One day we started to collect the waste we found in our walks; now, we always take an additional bag with us to pick all the waste we find on our way back. This is our B-Bag (B, because of “basura”, the Spanish word for “waste”)
It is a very a simple task that does not require too much effort from any of us. It is more a matter of stopping watching and facing the problem. For us, it has just been a matter of introducing this plain habit in our outings.
We are not trying to convince anyone. Our goal is to make the problem visible, and to encourage people to think about the individual responsibility to act. To undertake action, to chase our ideals, and good things will happen. It is just about small gestures, very small. It is just about introducing habits in our lives that make Change. It is about of what we can do to improve things.
August, the national holiday month in Spain, is about to start. Everyone goes out, to the beach, to the mountains. We all have a bit more time to stop and think, to become aware of ourselves and our environment. Just take a look at the beach where you are standing, probably the same beach that has welcomed you so many summers before and has given you bright memories for life.
You will surely find some waste in the sand, or among rocks and stones. Bottles, cans, ropes, plastic packs. It takes nothing to pick all this up, just a walk. And this act is quite contagious, people join when they see others cleaning the beach.
This is very little, just a beginning to make us conscious that the amount of waste we generate is a real problem. This is an invitation to think about what we want for our future and what we have to do in the present in order to achieve it.
We invite you to read an awesome tale “The Man Who Planted Trees” (French title: L’homme qui plantait des arbres), an allegorical tale by the French author Jean Giono, published in 1953. It tells the story of a shepherd’s long and successful single-handed effort to re-forest a desolate valley in the foothills of the Alps in Provence throughout the first half of the 20th century. It was written in French, but first published in English.
The story itself is so touching that many readers have believed that Elzéard Bouffier, the shepherd, was a genuine historical figure and that the narrator of the story was a young Jean Giono himself, and that the tale is part autobiographical. Certainly, Giono lived during this time. While he was alive, Giono enjoyed allowing people to believe that the story was real, and considered this as a tribute to his skill. His daughter, Aline Giono, described it as “a family story for a long time”. However, Giono himself explained in a 1957 letter to an official of the city of Digne:
“Sorry to disappoint you, but Elzéard Bouffier is a fictional person. The goal was to make trees likeable, or more specifically, make planting trees likeable”.
In the letter, he describes how the book was translated into a multitude of languages and distributed freely, and so it was a success. He adds that, although “it does not bring me a cent”, it is one of the texts he is most proud of.
The story is a tribute to nature, kindness and humbleness.